Url Phantomhive

Url Phantomhive

Trying to shed a light on the wonderful maze of books...

Review
2.5 Stars
Lady Stuff
Lady Stuff: Secrets to Being a Woman - Loryn Brantz

This one wasn't as much fun as I had hoped. I'd previously read some other comics collections like Sarah's Scribbles and I think I liked them more. There was a lot of repetition in this one, and I wouldn't really say this one told any secrets to being a woman.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Review
2 Stars
Rise Of Hypnodrome
Rise of Hypnodrome - Matt Fuchs

Rise of Hypnodrome's premise seemed a bit like Brave New World. Everything for happiness but why is the main character not happy, as he obsesses about his new robot?

I couldn't get into the story. There were a lot of different concepts thrown together and it pains me to say, but I felt that even though it's only a novella, it was too long. Not for me.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Review
3 Stars
Nightshades
Nightshades - Melissa F. Olson

This was a nice new start of an urban fantasy series. And yes, it did involve vampires, or shades as they are called, and of course, we have seen more than a fair share of them already in recent years, but still... It didn't bother me too much.

There was a lot ongoing in this book and a lot of characters that were being introduced and then, a huge cliffhanger...

Still planning to read the next one, though.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Review
3 Stars
Rust
Rust: The Longest War - Jonathan Waldman

Why ever read a biography of Rust? I also asked myself this question when I started reading it. But then I remembered I once read a book on Rain and wondered the same thing. However, both rust and rain are parts of life and their respective books were more interested than previously expected.

There were some genuinely interesting parts in this, some things I had previously never even considered. Like the restoration of the Statue of Liberty but more importantly the part on the canning industry. Made me look differently the next time I took a can.

Some parts were a bit long winded though, but I think more people than expected will find this interesting.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Review
3 Stars
Appetite For Innovation
Appetite for Innovation: Creativity and Change at elBulli - M. Pilar Opazo

This definitely was an interesting read into the world of Elbulli, critically acclaimed to be the best/most original restaurant in the world. While I still have to eat these kind of experimental dishes myself, I really liked reading about it.

I'm sure the book was well researched, but sometimes I had the feeling the book was a bit too dry for my taste. And as with food, nobody likes it too dry.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Review
3 Stars
Unborn
Unborn - Amber Lynn Natusch

The cover looked cool. So I decided to read it.

It is one of those novels where you better don't stop and start to think about it. It is fast paced and an easy read, which makes it perfect to relax but not much more than that. The main character is thrown into the hands of a band of vigilante brothers who actually turn out to be HER brothers. It's that kind of book. So don't expect anything deep, but it is a fast read.

Might continue anyway, since I already have a copy of the second book.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Review
3 Stars
Midnight At The Bright Ideas Bookstore
Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore: A Novel - Matthew J. Sullivan

Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore had a couple of things going for it. First and most importantly a bookstore. These kind of books always find a way onto my reading list. The main character being a bookseller also helps. Add to that some mysterious messages that are left and a death to investigate. It sounded like nothing could prevent this from being an amusing read.

And it was a nice read, just I had expected a little bit more from it. The past narrative from the main character made I couldn't focus on the ongoing investigation and I never really got into the story. While the writing was nice and made it an easy read, it wasn't anything special either.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Review
4 Stars
The Gene
The Gene: An Intimate History - Siddhartha Mukherjee

The Genome is a wonderful thing, and whether you - like me - spend daily time wondering/working on it or not, it is always there and could not be more intimate as it is in all your cells. I previously read, The Emperor al all Maladies, and really liked it, so obviously, I was even more looking forward to reading The Gene.

Without going in too much detail (you should read the book yourself), I really liked it and the anecdotal way the story is told made there was still something to learn, despite my biomedical training. I would like to end with an anecdote from myself. I once went to an X-men movie (don't remember exactly which one), and they acknowledged Mukherjee for generating interest into the topic.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Review
3 Stars
Silent Scream
Silent Scream: An edge of your seat serial killer thriller (Detective Kim Stone crime thriller series Book 1) - Angela Marsons

There was a time I was really into detective stories. Either on television or in books. I never seemed to tire from them. Until there was a moment where I felt I wanted to diversify the reading, and found I'm not really reading a lot of them at this point.

Silent Scream was one of the few I wanted to give a try though. And it was a bit of a mixed bag. On the plus side, I didn't foresee the ending and was actually quite surprised with it. For me, this might be the single most important factor in detective stories. It is nice to be able to figure things out before the detective, but sometimes you just want to get a run for your money (even if it is a review copy and you're not actually spending money on it). However, I didn't really like the main character, D.I. Kim Stone, she was a bit the textbook troubles detective who doesn't work by the book but apparently is so good at what she does that nobody seems to care. I hope she will improve her habits, as I plan to read some more books in the series.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Review
3.5 Stars
The Flame In The Mist
Flame in the Mist - Renee Ahdieh

I really quite liked this one. Flame in the Mist was the first book I read by this author and it was a pleasant surprise. It was set in feudal Japan, so it immediately had this mysterious feel about it. Mariko as the main character was a strong young girl who sets out on an interesting quest.

I would like to see where this story is going from here.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Review
3 Stars
Paper Girls Vol. 1
Paper Girls Volume 1 - Cliff Chiang, Brian K. Vaughan

I had heard a lot about Paper Girls before sitting down to finally read the first volume. I liked the girl setting and the 80s theme. Even though I wasn't even born at the time, with all the current enthusiasm for the period, it is difficult not to like it.

I thought the setting was very nicely executed, just I couldn't really get into the story at this point. However, I would like to someday read a couple more of these to explore where it is going.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

24-in-48 Halfway-ish Update

Well, technically, it's seven hours past halfway, but I've been sleeping.

 

I wanted to join this summer's 24-in-48 (where one aims to read for 24 out of 48 hours, and not necessarily as someone asked me read 24 books ;) ) to boost my summer holiday reading. However, so far my attempts at this read-a-thon have been terrible at best, so I wasn't sure how it was going to work out since I've only just recovered from a reading slump.

 

So far, I feel it's going fine. Reading has been a bit in bits and pieces, so I'm not sure I hit the 12 hour mark yesterday, but anyway I'm happy with the progress. I decided to use for this read-a-thon my five year old Kobo Ereader which still holds some books I've never read.

 

Started and currently reading through the 24-in-48:

 

* War & Peace - Tolstoy (9%)

 

* The Trial - Franz Kafka (48%)

 

* Playing Nice - Rebekah Crane (55%)

 

* The Athena Effect - Derrolyn Anderson (37%)

 

* Daimones - Massimo Marino (38%)

 

* Jade Sky - Weston Ochse (26%)

 

* The Legend of Sarah - Leslie Gadallah (Just starting)

 

Happy second day of the 24-in-48!

Reading Slump (Zero out of Five, Would Not Recommend)

It's been awhile.

 

The reason for this is I've been through -this sounds more dramatic really than it was- my biggest reading slump in years over the past couple of months. I was surprised and it took some time for me to realize what was happening. I've been reading steadily for at least the last five years (and although I've tuned down my reading challenge a bit since 2018 what with the PhD and everything) I felt everything was going fine. Also reading wise. Until it didn't.

 

I guess I was stuck with some books I didn't enjoy reading and it is not in my nature to quit them. I know I can't really complain since I still read six books in the worst month of it. But more than the sheer lack of books being read it was much the feeling that encompassed it. I didn't feel like reading (very weird feeling, would not recommend it ;) ). I am ashamed to say some books (I always read multiple at any given time) took me half a year to finish. But finish them I did and finally saw some light at the end of the reading tunnel.

 

I'm happy to say the joy of reading has returned to me, and I feel like I've been making up for lost time, slowly trying to catch up with my reading challenge (which I still hope to make by the end of the year). Only 14 books behind (rather than 30), so it's already a win.

 

However, when I didn't feel like reading I also didn't feel like writing about it, so I haven't spend much time on here lately. I will have to write some reviews to catch up and I hope you can forgive me for my absence.

 

PS. I plan on taking on the 24-in-48 again, however previous attempts have gone horribly awry (last time my parents decided to bring home a cat, and the reading was done for the weekend) so I'm curious to see where it is going.

Review
3 Stars
The Disappearing Spoon
The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements - Sam Kean

I finally finished this one.

It was a read for the Flat Book Society and I believe I was the last one still reading The Disappearing Spoon. It was not an easy read, especially at times. The first couple of chapters were all over the place and I know a lot of people DNFed at this point. I continued and I liked the later chapters much more.
It's better when Kean is not trying to explain the table, I find. Or, in his more future perspectives-part (the final chapters), these I also liked less.

My favorite anecdote is of two Danish researchers who were keeping onto some Nobel prizes of Jewish German scientists in the second world war and who dissolved the Novel prizes to make sure they survived the war. After the war, the gold was precipitated, sent back to the Nobel committee and they made the medal anew.

Review
3.5 Stars
Outdoor London
Outdoor London: Green spaces and escapes in and around the capital - Eleanor Ross

I really like London. I also love how green it is, even in the very busy parts of it. This was a nice collection of everything London has to offer on this part, some of my favorite places were included. Everything was accompanied by nice photographs that made me want to visit London again.

The only thing I thought could have been better was the guide part of the book. There was just a little bit of information and I would have liked to see a bit more, or learn a bit more about the special things one can do in each garden/green/park.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Review
3 Stars
The Engineer
The Engineer (Irons #1) - Luc Brahy, Tristan Roulot

It's been a while since I finished a book, had sort of a reading slump with work being so busy. I hope to pick up the normal pace soon though.

 

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The beginning of this graphic novel was really strong, so much so that I had high hopes for the rest. While it was definitely entertaining it was basically a not so nice guy investigating a bridge collapse. Which was nice but only so much exciting.

The main character has a tragic back story but it was difficult to really like him. I'm curious however to see where it is going from here. The art was not superb but nice enough. I would like to read the next volume.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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